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Columbia University
United States

US academia reeling after professor charged with incest

A popular Columbia professor in political science is accused of sleeping with a female relative for three years.

ELITE ACADEMIC circles in the United States have been left reeling after a popular political science professor was arrested and accused of an incestuous three-year relationship with a female relative.

David Epstein (46) had slept with the female regularly between 2006 and 2009, the NY Daily News reports, and faced a single charge of incest at a Manhattan court this week.

Epstein, who had specialised in voting rights and had been an occasional blogger for the Huffington Post as well as a regular visiting professor at Harvard and Stanford, has been placed on “administrative leave” from Columbia, a private university in New York city.

The female in the relationship was over 18 when the relationship began, it is understood, and the two are reported to have regularly exchanged “twisted” text messages.

A campus newspaper, the Columbia Spectator, reports that the female in question is Epstein’s daughter, and that the relationship was consensual.

Epstein was married to another senior academic at the University, though the paper says his Facebook status no longer listed him as being ‘married’.

If convicted, he would face four years in jail.